Senate GOP Warning to Judge Merchan: ‘Don’t Put Trump in Jail’


Senate Republicans are on record, issuing a caution to Judge Juan Merchan: Don’t put Donald Trump in jail.

Senate Republicans are warning New York Judge Juan Merchan not to sentence former President Trump to prison or house arrest or take any other action that could disrupt the likely GOP nominee’s ability to campaign ahead of the November election.

It could take months for Trump to appeal his conviction on 34 felony counts related to the falsification of business documents, and legal experts don’t expect the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court to intervene to help him.

That means that Trump’s fate rests largely with Merchan, who could choose punishments ranging from prison and house arrest to probation and community service.


Normally, a white-collar crime of this nature, with no previous convictions, would result in probation or some non-carceral punishment, but this has hardly been a normal case.

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Several Senators have spoken out; representative of their statements is one issued by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX):

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it would be a “further abuse of power” to incarcerate Trump or sentence him to home confinement.

“I’m very troubled by what I see in the way the courts have been weaponized,” he said. “It used to be there were some institutions in America, namely the FBI, the Department of Justice and the courts, which were regarded as out of bounds for overt partisan politics, but unfortunately that’s changed, and not for the better.”

At least one legal scholar indicates that Trump shouldn’t expect jail time, but there’s a qualifier:

An analysis by Norm Eisen, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, found that only 1 in 10 cases of first-degree falsification of business records in New York resulted in imprisonment. His findings were first published in The New York Times.

Some New York legal experts note, however, that Merchan, the judge, has a reputation of being tough on white-collar criminals.


Merchan, the judge, has a reputation for being tough on white-collar criminals – especially if they are Republicans, and most especially if their last name is Trump.

The convictions do not seem to be having much effect on Trump’s fundraising, except, perhaps, to fire it up. The Trump campaign’s fundraising haul in May was nearly double that of April, $53 million of which rolled in in the days immediately following the conviction.

Also, a Morning Consult poll taken Monday shows Donald Trump still holding a narrow (1 percent) lead over Joe Biden in the general election. Trump also still leads in all of the major battleground states, although in some cases by a hair-thin margin.

It’s going to be an interesting summer.

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